‘HE should have got more.’

This was the reaction of a Barrow bus driver after his attacker received a 16-week prison sentence for headbutting him when he confronted him for refusing to pay for travel.

Stagecoach driver Derrick Gawne, 47, who is receiving treatment for cancer, was left with lasting damage to his nose after Darren McCullough attacked him while on a bus at Middlefield, Barrow.

The incident took place at around 9am on December 5 last year after McCullough claimed he did not have to pay for travel as he had a NoWcard, which was not valid.

Ignoring the instructions of Mr Gawne, who was training another bus driver, McCullough continued to sit down.

But after being asked to leave, he then headbutted him.

According to Mr Gawne, he then stormed up and down the bus claiming ‘he had done nothing wrong’ - leaving his victim choking on his own blood.

McCullough, 43, of Cote Ley Crescent, Walney, was jailed for 16 weeks when he appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates Court.

He was ordered to pay £300 compensation after admitting one charge of assault by beating.

He was also sentenced to another two weeks to run concurrently for failure to answer bail.

Mr Gawne spoke out about the lasting impact the attack has had on him.

“After the attack I suffered with depression that forced me to take six weeks off work”, he said.

“Even now I am still awaiting treatment for my nose that continues to impact on my breathing.”

On top of this, Mr Gawne also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of his 12 years' service in the armed forces, when he was a corporal in the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment.

“The experience has left me feeling not in control and even during my time in the services I have never felt like this," he said.

“I am now a lot more wary of certain passengers and although this gives me some sense of closure he should have got more.

“I would like to thank everyone from the Barrow depot for all their support during this difficult time - I couldn’t fault them.”

A Stagecoach spokesman said: “We are pleased that justice has been served, supporting our desire for our staff to work free from intimidation.”

The incident has also forced Mr Gawne, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2016, to put on hold any further fundraising events.

In 2018 he proudly sported a blue beard and walked from Whitby to Walney over three days to raise money for Testicular Cancer Awareness.